5 Mobile App Development Tips For Small Businesses

 

It’s been said that if you build it, they will come. But whoever came up with those words of wisdom definitely wasn’t thinking about apps. The reason? Millions of them available on different app store platforms, so merely building an app is no guarantee that anyone will even know it’s there, much less become persuaded enough to download it onto their smartphones.

 

According to Statista, there were, as of March 2017, 2.8 million apps on the Google Play Store as well as 2.2 million apps on the Apple App Store. If you add other app stores like BlackBerry App World and Windows Phone Store, then you can understand how merely making apps available to the masses won’t do much for your app-download numbers.
In order to help you succeed in a crowded marketplace where there are so many options competing for consumer attention, here are 5 app development tips for small businesses.

  1. Solve a Problem

 

Before your app developer gets down to business, you need to brainstorm to figure out exactly what problem your app will solve. Check out the app stores you plan to sell your app on for some inspiration. For instance, you’ll see there are apps to help people find rides, find short-term rental accommodations, and more. Once you identify a problem, seek to resolve the issue in a out-of-the-box kind of way. This will encourage your target demographic to download the app and to tell their friends and acquaintances about your app. And, as the advertising world has known for ages, word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective type of advertising.

  1. App Store Optimization

App store optimization (ASO) is a process by which you can increase the rank of your software in an app store. This includes asset optimization and keyword optimization.

  • Asset Optimization: Asset optimization refers to the non-text aspects of your app, namely in-app screenshots, app icons, and preview video. Consider it this way: If your app store listing grabs attention because of your adherence to asset optimization considerations, consumers are more likely to download it. However, if your screenshot pics look uninspired, consumers may not give an otherwise useful app a second look.
  • Keyword Optimization: Keyword optimization refers to the text included in your app store listing page. In addition to selecting the right keywords, you also need to write well enough to persuade consumers to download your app. What are the right keywords? You need to research to find out what keywords are applicable and most used by the demographic you’re targeting. One source notes that including a keyword in the title of your app store page can boost your app’s search ranking pertaining to that keyword by, on average, 3%.

  1. Monitor App Performance

It’s easy to assume that you can sit back and watch the app downloads pile up after your software developer has completed it, tested it, and uploaded it to an app store. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. You have to factor into the equation that there are numerous things — things you have no control over — that can negatively impact the performance of your app. For instance, an operating system update on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile devices can adversely influence app behavior and lead to issues that include, but are not limited to, more app crashes. This means that you must monitor the performance of your app to ensure that the user experience is always a good one. Fortunately, there are tools you can use to help with this sort of monitoring. Examples are Crashlytics or Crittercism, both of which will provide app visibility during the development stage so that your app developer can quickly resolve problems that arise. Such apps are also useful when the app is completed as they will provide you with important information on crashes, latency, and other issues.

  1. App Development Tools

When it comes to building an app for your small business, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Specifically, you can take advantage of app development tools to build, market, and monetize your app at a fraction of the cost of proceeding without app development solutions. Whether you want an easy way to integrate your app with third-party apps, to monetize your app in the form of surveys, to boost app engagement with your users, to achieve direct advertising deals with other app developers, or to do any of a number of other things to strategically position your app, you can achieve your objectives by incorporating the right tools into your strategy.

  1. View Recorded User Sessions

There are tools available, such as Appsee, that you can use to view recordings of people using the app developed by your small business. This will provide you with strategic business intelligence and insight since you’ll get to see any potential problems people encounter that might impact whether they’ll actually stick with your app.

There are millions of apps vying for the attention of consumers, so it’s important that you differentiate your offering in the crowded marketplace. By following these 5 mobile app development tips your small business will be able to put out an app that attracts and retains users.

 

6 Best Practices for Securing eCommerce Customer Data

As eCommerce merchants, having the trust and faith of your customers is paramount to continuing business. Without the safety and security of knowing that their details are safe when they pay you, your customers will be ready to shop elsewhere. In order to maintain and assure their trust is warranted, here’s 6 of the best practices your eCommerce site should be using to secure your customers’ data.

  1. Don’t Rely on Shared Hosting Plans

When it comes to hosting plans for your site, while it may be incredibly cheap to opt for a smaller monthly fee with a shared plan, you open yourself up to a bigger risk. With shared hosting, your websites are on the same server that any number of hundreds of other users could have direct access to, which sometime leads to data being tampered with. Using a dedicated server from a hosting provider eliminates some risk which can keep your website and information safe.

  1. Encrypt All User Data, Not Just Payment Information

While it’s usually expected to encrypt payment information, especially when saving credit card details for future orders, you shouldn’t stop there. All information that users input into your website should be encrypted. This includes information such as email addresses, phone numbers and shipping and billing addresses. This ensures that the data is unreadable when cyber attackers gain access to your files.

  1. Require More Sophisticated Passwords

Many sites don’t require anything more than a number or uppercase letter to be included in a user’s password when they create an account. This makes it rather straightforward to brute force a users accounts without much effort. By having users use more sophisticated passwords, you can reduce the risk of their accounts being compromised.

  1. Be Transparent with Your Data Policy

Consumers want to feel secure, not just be protected. By making it clear how and why you’re taking certain precautions to store and verify their information, you alleviate the risk of potential legal action due to miscommunication. Most notably this was the case with the popular mobile app Snapchat which made headlines for leaking user data without permission to access it in the first place.

  1. Keep All Software and Applications Updated

Someone on your staff should be keeping up with the latest trends of the web technology which comprises your eCommerce site. If something is out of date on your server, it can become vulnerable. The same is true for any mobile app frameworks as well. Make sure any exploits on your end that could affect your users on their devices are kept managed.

  1. Be Prepared for a Worst Case Scenario

When it comes to disaster recovery plans for businesses, they don’t usually involve falling prey to cyber attacks and hackers. However, in the case of all precautions failing, you should have plans in place if an attack does occur. Figure out who will be responsible, what needs to be done and how fast you can remedy the situation. The longer your customers’ payment information is at risk in this situation, the worse off your company will be.

 

 

Chiropractic Business Loans For Upgrading Your Office Or Technology

Most people are tired of the conventional treatment alternatives where doctors prescribe random drugs and surgeries to treat common medical conditions such as back pains, asthma, blood pressure, joint pains, overweight, ear infections, gastrointestinal issues, organ function and surgery prevention among others. In fact, lower back pain and neck pain are the most widespread disorders that lead to disability cases in the country. Because chiropractic work is based on drug-free and surgery-free solutions for treating these conditions naturally, several chiropractic offices are emerging in almost every corner in various towns nationwide.

On the other hand, these chiropractic offices find it almost impossible to find funding to upgrade office equipment and embrace advanced technologies in their operations. Getting affordable financial assistance for working capital from conventional financing sources such as banks has proven to be a hard task for most of these small businesses. Currently, you can find convenient online applications processes for chiropractic business loans that can help you capitalize on the local market and leverage technology to boost your ROI.

Benefits of getting Chiropractor business loans

Rejuvenate your practice

A large population of Americans are either misinformed or don’t know much about the impact and advantages of the method on people. However, established insurance service providers have already embraced the practice and are offering coverage to these offices. Remember, when a client visits your chiropractor office he or she is supposed to be content with the status of the environment.

A chiropractor business loan will help you spruce up your office with new equipment, invest in modern fixtures, signage, and advanced medical devices. In other words, you will use the business loan to revamp your entire chiropractor office.

Marketing campaign

A chiropractor can’t depend on insurance plan referrals to get patients the way medical doctors and dentists do to get a steady stream of patients. You need to invest incredible and workable marketing campaigns in extending your reach and building a sustainable client base. An alternative finance company can process your loan within few hours and enable you to take advantage of emerging marketing opportunities such as a local wellness fair, to get in front of your potential customers promptly.

Invest in technology

Even though the ability to use your hands is your most crucial asset in this business, you need to invest in modern-day techniques and tools that will make your office competitive. Therefore, instead of draining your business account to buy some of these vital tools of business, you can get chiropractor business loans for all your purchases.

Further training

The chiropractor industry keeps evolving, and thus as a chiropractor, you need to educate yourself and learn new techniques for handling dynamic medical conditions continuously. To deliver the best pain management techniques to your patients, you need to acquire and employ new skills periodically. Getting the necessary training can be quite expensive. Hence, the chiropractor business loan will come in handy in such situations.

Types of Chiropractic business loans

If you have an established profitable business and a proper credit, then you should take advantage of the lowest rate facilities provided by traditional lenders without necessarily providing collateral. However, the process for getting financing from banks can be time-consuming, and thus not a viable option for chiropractor offices that require urgent funding for debt refinancing and working capital.

If you have tried and failed in getting funding through the conventional routes, then consider alternatives like the SBA financing options whereby banks or credit unions get covered by the government when chiropractor businesses fail to repay their loans. The SBA-enhanced guarantee protects lenders from encountering losses accrued by defaulting borrowers.

Even though alternative chiropractor lenders offer more accessible and faster approval processes, their rates are arguably higher than that of banks or SBA financing. Therefore, when you opt for this alternative, you should be prepared to pay higher prices.

Alternatively, you can opt to lease expensive equipment for your chiropractor office. The lender will purchase the equipment and lend it to your practice for a specified period. If your credit has taken a hit in the recent past, or merely need direct financing for your chiropractor office, you can also opt for cash advances.

Making financial decisions regarding your chiropractor office requires thorough research and extensive analysis of the available viable solutions. Based on your office’s specific needs, you can get a lending opportunity online that will custom tailor a solution that perfectly satisfies your business.

A complete guide to Bitcoin

Introduction 

Over the past several years, a new type of currency has become popular. Bitcoin has been discussed in purchases of several items since its debut several years ago. One of its advantages is the ability to be used virtually. But, what is it, exactly? This following information will explain what Bitcoin is, how its price is affected, and how it can be used.

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has established itself as a popular – yet controversial – virtual currency for over five years. But, what exactly is it? According to The Telegraph, Bitcoin is a digital currency that is used for secure payments using “decentralized technology,” and it doesn’t require banks or people’s names. One of the reasons it was introduced in the first place was to “liberate money” just like the internet liberated information.

What Is It For?

This type of currency is used because people see value in government-free currency, which isn’t charged by banks for its use. It has been used for private, and anonymous transactions. However, there have been some negative ties to it. It is the payment of choice for illegal transactions including drug deals.

Yet, there have been numerous positive reasons to use it. It has helped to fund companies, invest cash, and transfer funds. It’s all done without paying any fees like you normally would with a bank. It can also be spent online, and at certain retailers.

Still, others are holding on to their bitcoins in the same way that people keep stocks. Since its price fluctuates, people can net huge gains. In fact, early investors have done just that.

How Does It Work?

Bitcoin works on a blockchain, which keeps track of all the transactions on a decentralized record. All bitcoin users have access to, and can update, this record.

In order to get involved, a user must generate a block on the network, which uses the user’s computer power. Doing so allows them to create the block, which lets the user earn “money” by keeping the network running. However, there are limits, which protect the value from being diluted.

Its Worth

For those that are skeptical of it’s value, there are some interesting statistics. As of July 2017, one Bitcoin’s value was estimated to be $1,268, which was more than one ounce of gold at the time. However, things have changed since then.

The Price 

Just prior to Christmas 2017, interest for Bitcoin decreased, and the price plummeted. It went from a high value of $20,000 to approximately $14,000, which has sparked trades, and concern. The price has fluctuated since its debut several years ago. While some are concerned about a “Bitcoin Bubble”, others see this as just the beginning for the currency.

Is It Worth The Investment?

One of the best things about Bitcoin is that users won’t have to deal with fraud or theft since it’s decentralized. Additionally, investors have seen huge gains of over $1,000. In fact, if you invested that much in 2013, you might be a millionaire today. However, it is worth repeating the price is volatile just like most stocks. So, patience could yield a big reward.

Conclusion

While Bitcoin has caused a conundrum for some, others are starting to see the value in the alternative currency. It’s independence from other forms of payment has sparked curiosity, and interest. The ability to pay for things without worrying about fees is a definite plus. However, like a stock, its volatile value makes it problematic for others. The information given in this guide should help answer the basic questions, which should allow you to delve deeper into your own personal investment adventure.

Starting and running a business takes ambition, energy, vision and ideas. But it also takes money. Financing may be required to get a start-up on its feet, to meet payroll or satisfy tax obligations. Other businesses may need money to hire new employees, expand into a new market or launch a new product. When traditional business loans are out of reach because a company doesn’t have sufficient credit, collateral or operating history, those financial needs don’t go away, and entrepreneurs have to get clever.

  1. Small Business Administration Loans: The Government Middleman

The Small Business Administration can help businesses secure capital through debt financing, surety bonds and equity financing. The SBA does not loan money directly, but through its guaranteed loan (debt financing) program, it sets strict regulations for its partner companies, and helps businesses secure financing through those companies.

The SBA also utilizes a public-private partnership called the Small Business Investment Company. Just as with the SBA’s debt financing arm, SBIC does not invest directly in businesses, but instead leverages its private-sector relationships to help businesses secure venture capital.

  1. ACH Loans: Borrow Against Future Profits

With ACH loans, lenders finance a business’s future sales. After evaluating a business’s financial statements, profits, deposit history and potential for future growth, an ACH lender will loan a certain amount of capital, depending on what its investigation concludes the business is capable of giving back.

The lender then secures repayment by making scheduled withdrawals directly from the business’s bank account, which is also called an automatic clearing house — or ACH. These kinds of loans are fairly easy to get, but they can be expensive money.

  1. Invoice Factoring: Secure Financing Against Outstanding Invoices

Many businesses get in a financial pinch when customers are slow to pay. Invoice factoring is a type of financing that enables businesses to borrow money against the value of their outstanding invoices. These types of lenders examine the creditworthiness of the customers that owe outstanding invoices to the business seeking the loan. When the invoices are paid to the business, the lender will be repaid from those incoming settled accounts.

  1. Debt Financing: Borrow Against Security

According to Entrepreneur, debt financing includes both secured and unsecured loans, but most lenders require security behind a promise to repay — even for financially sound companies. Businesses can secure these kinds of loans by offering lenders securities, real estate, equipment, warehouse inventory or display merchandise, which the business would forfeit to the lender if they defaulted on the loan.

If the business does not have this kind of collateral, or the lender doesn’t find it sufficient, they can offer assurances from third parties, called guarantors, endorsers or co-makers. All three play similar roles, but who assume different repayment obligations. Endorsers, for example, would have to post collateral of their own on the business’s behalf, while a co-maker would be directly responsible for payment if the business defaults. Debt financing is not to be confused with personal debt settlement or business debt settlement.

  1. Venture Capital Financing: Big Money — Plus Advice and Expertise

Venture capital firms often operate exclusively in a specific industry or market segment. Therefore, they offer not only money, but managerial knowledge and expertise of a borrower’s specific field of business. Venture capitalists are investors, not lenders, and when they spot a promising business with potential for future growth that is being hampered by a lack of capital, they will pool their money — in many cases, large investments of up to tens of millions of dollars — to trigger rapid growth.

With their money, however, comes a degree of control. Venture capitalists take a hands-on approach, offering advice and managerial oversight. They pump in money to trigger large returns in a short period of time. A venture capital investment almost never has a horizon of more than three to five years.

Whether you’re a business that needs a huge influx of cash from venture capitalists seeking short term returns, or a small business that fast business loans because customers are slow to pay invoices, there are ways to secure financing if you’re a good company with solid financials. Some money is more expensive than a traditional loan, but it is the price of doing business.

How your small business can save money on utilities

It seems like the worst form of black magic. Every month, without delay or hesitation, your utility bills appear in your mailbox. You don’t want them but alas, there they are, and no amount of wishing them into the cornfield is going to get rid of them. What can you do? You man up, you pay your bills and the whole rotten business continues the next month. Unless you are interested in doing business in a way reminiscent of the pioneers, those utility bills are a necessary evil. There are, however, some steps that you and your company can take to help bring those totals down a bit. I’m not talking about BIG, HUGE things like replacing your entire roof with handmade, cruelty free solar panels, but if you are interested in small, reasonable steps that you can take to save hundreds of dollars each year, then grab a free range banana muffin and read on.

GET A FREE ENERGY AUDIT

Many utility companies offer free energy audits. Free. As in it costs no money. An energy audit assesses how much energy your business is currently using and provides you with an in-depth analysis of what measures you take to save yourself money while creating a more energy efficient workspace. This free assessment is designed to show you issues that may, when corrected, save you money in the long run.

REPLACE BURNED OUT BULBS WITH ENERGY EFFICIENT ONES

Energy efficient LED light bulbs are up to 80% more efficient than traditional light bulbs. Only 5% of the energy created by an LED light ends up being wasted as heat, the other 95% is actually used to make light. Those numbers stand in stark contrast to fluorescent lighting where 95% of the energy is lost as heat and only 5% of it actually goes towards lighting.

INVEST IN A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT

A programmable thermostat is capable of adjusting the temperature during the hours when no one is working. Just a single night or two of not having the air conditioner kick on when nobody is even around can bring you savings.

COMPUTER HIBERNATION

Scheduling all of your office and store computers to go into hibernate mode when not in use will save power because they won’t be left on unnecessarily. Hibernating PCs at the end of the day saves approximately $44.65 per day, per user. Having the computers hibernate instead of shutting down prevents any work from being accidentally erased.

USE POWER STRIPS

Your electronic devices can drain energy even when they aren’t being used. Plugging a few items like the television and coffee maker in the break room into a single power strip makes it easy to do a hard shut down at the end of the day and save yourself from wasting electricity.

GO PAPERLESS

Consider joining the growing population of companies that are going paperless. No paper checks, no hard copies of office memos, and no printer or fax machine on site. This can be a bit of an adjustment but once you and your employees get used to doing things without using unnecessary paper (and you start saving money) you will wonder why you didn’t try this sooner.

INSTALL MOTION SENSORS

You’ve asked your employees a million times to turn off the light when they leave the bathroom but they don’t, do they? Installing motion activated lights in infrequently used areas such as bathrooms and store rooms can go a long way towards cutting down the amount of electricity you use in a given day. Sensor faucets are also a great way to improve water conservation.

Most small business are already walking a careful tightrope when it comes to their finances. Spending unnecessary dollars on your utility bills is no different than spending money on an ad campaign that falls flat. Making these simple switches can end up saving you hundreds of dollars each year. That is money that is now counted as part of your profit putting both your business and the environment one step ahead.

 

Digital Marketing Tools For Your Small Business

As a small business, your employees may be juggling a lot of “hats” at once. Your salesperson may also be in charge of marketing, customer service, along with some administrative tasks! It can be easy to forget marketing when you’re concerned with immediate results for your bottom line.

But marketing is integral to the overall success of your business. It builds customer loyalty, which leads to higher retention rates and referrals. This is different from sales, because you’ve already convinced them to “buy in” to your product – now you want to “buy in” to your company’s brand.

The digital marketing process can be streamlined by the use of online tools that don’t have to break the bank. Some of them on this list are even FREE! Here are some digital marketing tools for your small business:

  1. Social Media Management Platforms

When you’re a brand dedicated to creating a consistent social media presence, you know posting around the same time every day is helpful. But if you do this in real-time, it’s going to interrupt your focus on other tasks. This is where social media management tools come in.

Hootsuite is a great starter for entrepreneurs. The free plan allows you to control 3 different social media profiles from universal dashboard. You can schedule posts ahead of time to run across the different platforms. This allows you  a lot of flexibility – you could schedule all your posts for a week in one day! Another option is Buffer – while the free plan is limited, the cheapest plan has a lot of features.

  1. Online Photo Editors

Photoshop is expensive. And the truth is, if you are only wanting to make simple edits and graphics, you probably don’t need it! There are lots of free alternatives out there that you can use within your browser.

A good option for beginners is Canva. It has canvasses that are sized for optimal viewing on Facebook, Twitter, instagram, etc. so that you don’t have to worry about making something that won’t fit. The program also has free templates, fonts, and graphic elements. There are some free stock photos, and a large library of photos that are only $1.

  1. Analytic Tools

If you have website, you SHOULD be using Google Analytics. It will help you get a better insight into to which pages are performing well, your ROI from promotions, read time, bounce, rate, etc. Did you know you can create a custom dashboard within Google Analytics? This allows you to focus on which pieces of data are the most relevant to you.

  1. Blog Managers

Content marketing is a great way to create value for a potential consumer. One of the most common forms of content marketing is blogging. No matter what industry you’re in – if you are an expert in it, you can offer insight to readers.

But if you don’t know a lot about design or Web development, it might seem like an overwhelming task. One of the staples in the blog hosting industry is WordPress. It offers free templates so you can stop worrying about design and focus on design. It also has paid self-hosting options and more advanced templates. If you are an avid Google user and prefer to streamline your systems as much as possible – you might consider Blogger.

You can’t market well without spending both time and money. But there’s a difference between throwing lots of money at “fancy and flashy” marketing trends, and investing in smart marketing tools that will propel your business forward. If you’re a new business, don’t be afraid to try out a variety of options and find what works best for you!

Best Social Media Practices For Your Franchise

Social media has transformed the way we do business. For example – word of mouth referrals have always been powerful. But it’s faster and easier to do so now when you can instantly post an opinion about a brand to your Facebook feed. And customers don’t make a referral decision based solely on experiences in brick and mortar stores. In fact 71% of customers are likely to recommend a company after having a positive experience on social media.

 

And this is only one of the MANY ways that social media has revolutionized sales and business. Whether your business is about to launch a profile, or want to improve on your current one – a great starting point is to study best practices. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel! Here are some social media best practices for your franchise:

  1. Choose The Right Social Network

Logically you’re going to reach the most people by being on EVERY social media site, right? Well maybe…but it’s more complicated than that. But content is not universal. Narrowing your focus gives you more time to curate posts that will be successful on THAT PLATFORM specifically. Just look at the differences between Twitter and Instagram. Instagram is an image-driven platform, while Twitter is focused on what’s relevant RIGHT NOW and communicating short, easy to digest messages.

If you are unsure which social network to focus on, just look at your franchise’s specific demographics. You want to be where they are.

  1. Take Part in “Social Listening”

Being interactive on social media isn’t just about posting content. It’s also about consuming content to better understand your customer. Listen when users tweet about your brand and point out issues. Instead of ignoring it as someone just ranting on the internet, ask yourself if there is some merit behind their criticism- especially if it’s a complain that you keep seeing again and again. You also have a chance to directly respond and ask follow-up questions, making them feeling heard and possibly even swaying their opinion

  1. Focus on Engaging

Of course you want more customers from being active on social media. But when that’s your number one focus – consumers can tell. They’re already being sold to by countless internet ads. If they’ve come to your social media page, they want to find some insight about your brand. They’re looking at the value you can offer them and how you treat customers. Social media is NOT the same as a sales call. 

  1. Be Consistent

Brands often choose one person to run their social media because this encourages consistency. Social media is the face of your brand. Let’s say your demographic is “hip and trendy.” So you post something with emojis and cheat speak to try to reach your consumer. But your NEXT post is long-winded, all text, with 4+ syllable words. See how this would confuse a user? You want to find a voice consumers can easily recognize.

  1. Humanize Your Brand

Social media is your chance to be stand out and form a relationship with your consumer. By responding to questions and complaints, you aren’t just a faceless company selling to the masses. Instead you’re creating personal experiences that build trust and credibility. It’s not just about responding – if you copy the same message over and over to every comment, you’re not truly interacting. But if you take the time to individually reply to feedback, your customers WILL take notice.

 

Success on social media is all about utilizing your magic formula. What does your franchise offer that no other brand does? Once you’ve answered that, you can figure out how to communicate it through content. Create a good social media experience, and you’ll attract loyal customers who refer you time and time again.

10 Ways Business Owners Can Make the Most of Seasonal Marketing

As a business owner, marketing is a must if you want to successfully differentiate yourself from competitors, to engage with existing customers, and to turn would-be shoppers into paying patrons. And one of the most effective ways to get your message out is to take advantage of seasonal marketing opportunities. If you can think up some logical tie-in between your products or services and a season or notable occasion, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition. What follows is a look at 10 ways business owners can make the most of seasonal marketing — hint: everything comes back to social media and the power of this platform to build brands.

 

  1. Mother’s Day: How can seasonal marketing help you on Mother’s Day? How about a social media game in which you post a picture of a jar filled with rose petals? Ask your followers to guess how many petals are contained in the jar. Reward the winner either with a price or with a discount for your products or services.

 

  1. Power of Association: Don’t underestimate the power of association. Take Independence Day and its connection with the colors red, white, and blue, for instance. Figure out how to connect your products or services to the day with some clever ad copy, incorporate the color scheme — red, white, and blue — into your promotion, and share pictures with your followers across various social media accounts.

 

  1. Christmas Sale: This one might seem obvious, but it’s definitely worth pursuing. Many people already see the holiday season as a time to spend, so why not offer some special promotions to take advantage of this trend? You can use social media — Twitter hashtag? — to drum up interest in any sales connected with the holiday season.

 

  1. Google Ad Extensions: Google Ad extensions tied into a holiday or season are sure to pick up traction. If you sell books or sporting gear, for instance, insert ad extensions connected to the holiday you choose to leverage as a marketing opportunity. You can use an advertising tag line such as “Blowout Black Friday Sales” on your Google ads in order to bolster the odds of people clicking on the links.

 

  1. Hold a Live Event: What is your target demographic and what sort of live events are they most likely to find interesting? Are Easter, Halloween, or even the start of the summer season suitable given your offering and any logical tie-ins? If so, schedule a fun event and reach out to your social media followers to encourage them to come out. Give them incentives to come as well such as door prizes or discounts.

 

  1. Seasonal Images: Have you noticed how Google often changes up its logo in honor of certain statutory holidays or other important occasions? Well, you can do the same. Determine which holidays present a logical synergy with your offerings and get creative. You can inform your social media followers of the changes or even hold a contest where you invite them to submit their ideas for holiday-specific versions of your logo.

 

  1. Website: Consider adding a web page on your site to specifically highlight the products or services you offer that connect with the holiday in question.

 

  1. Thought Leader: Joining social media groups and contributing effectively — commenting and responding to questions — can help you to establish yourself as a thought leader. After you establish yourself as someone who is knowledgeable in your industry, you’ll be able to skillfully include marketing material in even generic content. If you’re a regular contributor, it won’t come off as cheesy if you do a bit of name-dropping on occasion.

 

  1. Customer Hashtag: Encourage your customers to send in their tips. For instance, you could set up a hashtag on Twitter and tell your customers to submit their best seasonal tips, say, for Christmas gifts under $25. You can even run a contest where you select some of the best recommendations and send the recipients prizes.

 

  1. Create Seasonal Brand: If you want to take advantage of seasonal marketing opportunities, you should consider creating a special brand image that is specific to the season you’re targeting. It will be instantly noticeable by your customers since it will be different from your traditional brand image.

You can definitely make the most of seasonal marketing with some hard work and a good strategy. Consider the recommendations above and see how they can help you grow your business.

 

The Importance of SEO for App Discoverability

In this day and age, being noticed on the internet is more important than ever.  However, as people start using their smartphones more often, the ability to be noticed on a mobile device has taken precedence over desktops and laptops.  Therefore, search engine optimization – or SEO – for apps has become vital.  As you will see, changing your strategy to become noticed by people on-the-go can be done with some simple tweaks.

What Is SEO?

Before we can begin to discuss how to use SEO for apps, we need to define what it means.  As moz.com discusses, “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”  By using certain techniques, you will be able to raise your website on the the results lists when people search for certain terms.

It consists of several parts – three of which will be discussed here.  Quality pertains to your specific product or service.  You don’t want people going to Apple computers when you are an apple farmer.  Right?  Being more specific gives more quality content.

Quantity is just what it sounds like.  When you have built up and audience of the people you want to focus on, creating more traffic to your site and app will definitely help.

Lastly, there is your organic audience.  While ads can create a significant portion of the search engine results pages – or SERPS – organic defines traffic that you don’t have to pay for. 

SEO Isn’t Just For Websites Anymore

However, it is no longer good enough to create results for just any old website.  You have to remember that people use the internet on their phones.  As a result, tweaking your SEO for apps is more important than ever.  After all, if people can’t find your app, it won’t be noticed, and all the work spent developing will be for naught.

With over 1 million apps available, how will yours get noticed?  Thanks to search engines like Google, there are new ways to discover an app organically with posted suggestions for relevant search queries.  As a result, organic searches will now yield better results comparable to website search results allowing more users to download those apps. 

Diversify your SEO Strategy

So, how is this done?  Let’s discuss the basics.  As Search Engine Watch discusses, “Most big engine mobile apps source results from their web index – hence, applying mobile SEO best practices is essential to visibility in both web and apps.”  Therefore, it is important to remember some things.  “Using a single URL strategy is best.  But a subdomain or subdirectory can help provided you adhere to these tips.”

  • Crawler access allows all crawlers access to desktops and mobile websites to understand page structure and consolidate signals
  • Being mindful of page load speed helps because mobile users often have slower connections
  • User experience is important. You want to make sure that people can find everything and interact with your app.
  • Remember to optimize page elements and content to keywords
  • Use code that doesn’t need Flash or Javascript. Otherwise, you could create unnecessary obstacles 

Enhance Your App

One great tool that you can use is a software development kit – or SDK.  It is a development tool that create apps for a certain platform.  Doing so allows your app to support certain services.  Several companies offer SDKs to allow for such support.

One such software, known as Enhance, allows app owners to implement any SDK on their apps.  It’s simple to use, as well.  Best of all, it’s free.

All you have to do is select the service you want to implement, and upload your compiled app file.  Then Enhance patches, and injects, the services into your app.  Now, all you have to do is download, and publish, your Enhanced app.  It’s that simple.

Features include toggle SDKs, DIY ads, crash reporting, advertising tools, and income reporting.  You can even install third-party services that your development tools don’t support.  With just a few steps, your app is better than ever.

Conclusion

 Search engine optimization has been an important website tool for several years.  However, the same level importance is now placed on those who create apps.  But, the information presented should help explain what people need to do to rise up on the SERPS.  Plus, tools like Enhance make apps easier to use.  This information should allow you to create an app that will be noticed in no time.